ASSIGNMENT >> 1. Read the section “Affinity” of the article “Affinity, Reality and Communication.”


There are three factors in Scientology which are of the utmost importance in handling life. These three factors answer the questions: How should I talk to people? How can I give new ideas to people? How can I find what people are thinking about? How can I handle my work better?

These three factors in Scientology are called the ARC triangle. The abbreviation ARC (pronounced A-R-C rather than arc) is one of the most useful terms yet devised.

The ARC triangle is called a triangle because it has three related points. The first of these points is affinity. The second of these points is reality. The third of these points and the most important is communication.

These three factors are related. By affinity we mean emotional response. We mean the feeling of affection or lack of it, of emotion or misemotion (irrational or inappropriate emotion) connected with life. By reality we mean the solid objects, the real things of life. By communication we mean an interchange of ideas between two terminals (persons who can receive, relay or send a communication). Without affinity there is no reality or communication. Without reality there is no affinity or communication. Without communication there is neither affinity nor reality.

Application of the ARC triangle in the day-to-day circumstances one encounters in life requires an understanding of each of the triangle’s components and their interrelationship.

Affinity is any emotional attitude which indicates the degree of liking for someone or something.

Reality is the degree of agreement reached by people. It also includes the solid objects, the real things of life.

Communication is the interchange of ideas across space.


The first corner of the triangle is affinity.

The basic definition of affinity is the consideration of distance, whether good or bad. The most basic function of complete affinity would be the ability to occupy the same space as something else.

The word affinity is here used to mean love, liking or any other emotional attitude. Affinity is conceived in Scientology to be something of many facets. Affinity is a variable quality. Affinity is here used as a word with the context “degree of liking.”

Man would not be man without affinity. Every animal has affinity to some degree, but man is capable of feeling an especially large amount. Long before he organized into cities, he had organized into tribes and clans. Before the tribes and clans there were undoubtedly packs. Man's instinctive need for affinity with his fellow human beings has long been recognized, and his domestication of other animals shows that this affinity extends also to other species. One could have guessed that the race which first developed affinity to its highest degree would become the dominant race on any planet and this has been borne out.

A child is full of affinity. Not only does he have affinity for his father, mother, brothers and sisters and his playmates but for his dogs, his cats and stray dogs that happen to come around. But affinity goes even beyond this. You can have a feeling of affinity for objects: “I love the way the grain stands out in that wood.” There is a feeling of oneness with the earth, blue skies, rain, millponds, cartwheels and bullfrogs which is affinity.

Affinity is never identification (becoming one with another in feeling or interest) nor does it go quite so far as empathy (the power or state of imagining oneself to be another person and even share his ideas or feelings). You remain very much yourself when you have affinity for something but you also feel the essence of the thing for which you have affinity. You remain yourself and yet you draw closer to the object for which you have affinity. It is not a binding quality. There are no strings attached when affinity is given. To the receiver it carries no duties and no responsibilities. It is pure, easy and natural and flows out from the individual as easily as sunlight flows from the sun.

Affinity begets affinity. A person who is filled with the quality will automatically find people anywhere near him also beginning to be filled with affinity. It is a calming, warming, heartening influence on all who are capable of receiving and giving it.

One can readily observe the level of affinity between individuals or groups. For instance, two men talking with each other either are in affinity with each other or they aren't. If they are not, they will argue. If they are in affinity with each other, two other things have to be there: they have to have agreed upon a reality and they have to be able to communicate that reality to each other.

This brings us to the next corner: reality.

Scientology is a practical religion dealing with the study of knowledge, which through application of its technology can bring about desirable changes in the conditions of life. It was developed over a third of a century by L. Ron Hubbard. The term Scientology is taken from the Latin word scio (knowing, in the fullest meaning of the word) and the Greek word logos (study of). Scientology is further defined as the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, universes and other life.

that which appears to be. Reality is fundamentally agreement; the degree of agreement reached by people. What we agree to be real is real.

an interchange of ideas across space between two individuals.

irrational or inappropriate emotion. It is a coined word taken from mis- (wrong) + emotion. To say that a person was mis-emotional would indicate that the person did not display the emotion called for by the actual circumstances of the situation. Being mis-emotional would be synonymous with being irrational. One can fairly judge the rationality of any individual by the correctness of the emotion he displays in a given set of circumstances. To be joyful and happy when circumstances call for joy and happiness would be rational. To display grief without sufficient present time cause would be irrational.

an idea or opinion or thought.

the words or passages of text that come before or after a particular word that help to explain or determine its full meaning; the general sense of a word or a clarification of it.